Export or Become ExtinctDecember 1, 2007
In last-month’s issue of MetalForming, we interviewed PMA Chairman for 2008 Ralph Hardt, who spoke at length about the importance of metalformers thinking and acting globally. The first sentence of that article, and in fact the very first sentence Hardt spoke when I turned on my tape recorder a couple of months ago, bears repeating. He said:
“If you want your business to mirror the market, then you have to participate globally.”
This means working your tail off to expand your customer base beyond the borders of the United States, and even beyond those of North America. Particularly today, when the devalued dollar escalates the purchasing power of foreign customers, it’s simply not acceptable to blame sliding sales on issues related to competitiveness within the U.S. market. U.S. manufacturers are, in many cases, today’s worldwide low-cost producers. Go out and grab a piece of the global pie.
Some companies in our industry do a great job of global marketing and selling, and they have recently received recognition. In the News Update section of this issue (page 8), we report that welding-equipment supplier Lincoln Electric Holdings, Cleveland, OH, recently earned the U.S. government’s Export Achievement Award, one of eight companies receiving the honor in 2007. These awards come from the president himself, recognizing outstanding export success. Winners not only help themselves, but they help the United States.